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Smoking Loon, La Crema, McManis and The Crusher Releases
Two Sisters Central Otago Pinot Gris 2016
Clearview Estate 2016 ‘Old Olive Block’, Enigma’ and ‘The Basket Press’
Ceres 2017 ‘Swansong’ Pinot Gris and 2016 ‘Composition’ Pinot Noir
Vicarage Lane Canterbury Pinot Noir 2016
Paddy Borthwick 2017 Riesling and Chardonnay, and 2016 Left Hand and Right Hand Pinot Noirs
Trinity Hill Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2016
Villa Maria ‘Ngakirikiri’ Cabernet Sauvignon 2014
Paxton ‘NOW’ Shiraz 2017 and Hogshead Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
Kuru Kuru and Tarras Vineyards Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2017
Red Queen Marlborough Pinot Nor Rosé 2017
Waipara Valley Wines Blanc de Blanc, 2016 Sauvignon, and 2016 Pinot Noir
Elephant Hill 2016 Sauvignon Blanc and Reserve Chardonnay
Aix Rosé, A Torres Selection and Lustau Vermut from EuroVintage
Mills Reef 2017 ‘Reserve’ Pinot Gris and Chardonnay
Nevis Bluff ‘Duke of Cromwell’ Pinot Blanc 2017, and 2017 Rosé, 2014 Pinot Gris and 2013 Pinot Noir
Smith and Sheth ‘CRU’ Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Syrah Releases
Palliser Estate Martinborough Pinot Gris 2017
Karikari Estates 2014 ‘Calypso’ and 2015 Chardonnays, 2016 Viognier and 2015 Syrah and Pinotage
Auntsfield 2016 ‘Single Vineyard’ Chardonnay and Pinot Noir
The Crossings ‘Wild’ Awatere Sauvignon Blanc 2016
Pisa Range Estate‘ Black Poplar’ Central Otago Pinot Noir 2015
Z Wine ‘Rustica’ ‘Reserve’ Barossa Valley Shiraz 2015
Grava Wines 2016 Martinborough Sauvignon, Rosé, Riesling and Pinot Noir
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Featured Reviews

Haha Hawke’s Bay Merlot 2016

03 July,2017
The Haha wine brand began with a Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc from the 2011 vintage with a Marlborough Pinot Noir from 2010. From those first wines, the portfolio has grown to include Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, a Merlot and most recently a sparkling wine with a rosé to come. It’s exciting times for general manager Ashton Ireland who has developed the brand as a virtual winery label, into a range that is well-distributed throughout the country and now overseas. One of the most interesting varieties and styles for Haha must be Merlot, with the pre-eminence of Pinot Noir as the most accessible style of red wine. However, the firmer structure and different flavour profile is celebrated at Haha, while the tannin and oak management is geared for approachability. Here, I review the 2016 release.


Haha Hawke’s Bay Merlot 2016

Merlot from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay

Dark, deep, ruby-red colour with black hues, a little lighter on the rim. This has a softly full and gently concentrated nose with well-packed aromas of black plums with dark-red berry fruits, nuances of fruit-cake, spices and dark herbs. Medium-bodied, the palate has moderately deep and soft flavours of black plums, spiced fruit-cake and herbs. The flavours form a rounded core supported by light, supple tannin extraction, providing light grip and line. The acidity is integrated, and the wine carries to an elegant, light, herb nuanced finish. The is a gently flavoured Merlot with plum, spice and herb flavours on a palate with light extract and grip. Match with barbecued farem pasta and pizza over the next 2-3 years. 100% Merlot from the Hawke’s Bay hill country, fermented to 13.0% alc., 50% of the wine aged 10 months in French oak. 16.5/20 Jul 2017 RRP $15.99
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